by Linda Heistman
Attention ALL Senior Citizens: on Wednesday, November 25th, starting at noon, the Senior Health Activity and Recreation Program (SHARP) participants invite you to join us for a special get together at Lakeside Terrace Apartments.
We plan on sharing a meal together, spending some leisurely time talking, and playing lively games of pitch. We would love to have you join us!
“It’s payback time!” Usually when this is said, it is implied that some negative repercussion is imminent as an act of revenge or out of spite.
But, when we celebrate and honor our Veterans, it’s a very small payback for a huge sacrifice.
Last Wednesday, SHARP commemorated Veterans Day to do just that—honor the men and women who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces to protect and keep our precious freedoms.
When planning this event, I asked some of our senior participants what songs we could sing during our celebration.
I grew up learning, singing, and knowing most of the suggested songs.
I have been privileged to work with senior citizens throughout my adult life as a Certified Nurse Aide in nursing homes and also while volunteering and doing internships in activity departments of nursing homes and senior centers.
Because of these interactions, I have gleaned a lot of World War era information first hand.
I have also come to love the songs, the history and especially the values of that generation of people who lived through such hard times.
I believe Tom Brokaw gets it absolutely correct when he refers to these people as “The Greatest Generation.”
America wouldn’t be what it is today without these strong people.
Sadly, we are losing them as time marches on and, unfortunately, the first-hand sharing of the history, the stories, and the great music from their era are lessening by the day.
I felt that loss on Wednesday, when some of the songs we sang were new to me.
If I were not the coordinator for SHARP, I would never have heard some of the heartwarming stories shared as we talked.
I would never have met and gotten to know people who lived during the WWII years and were directly affected by it.
I would never have heard or learned some of the songs.
It occurred to me (not for the first time) that so many people—children and adults alike—haven’t had the privilege to be directly influenced by people from this great generation.
There are so many who will never have that connection to the history—to hear the stories from those who lived them.
So many who don’t understand the cost, so they can’t really appreciate it…and so many who will never learn to sing the songs.
As this realization sinks in, sadness and a deep sense of sorrow enter my soul, and in my heart I fly the flag at half-staff.
SHARP is a free program offered to all independent senior citizens from Woodgate to Raquette Lake.
We meet at Niccolls Memorial Church in Old Forge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday.
For more information, call or text (315) 225-7553, or email email@example.com. Check our Facebook page anytime for updates. Search: SHARP